In Bulacan, 11 candidates are running for governor
CITY OF MALOLOS—On Election Day on May 9, Bulacan voters will have 11 candidates to choose from in the gubernatorial race.
For the first time in recent history, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) allowed this many candidates to run for a position occupied usually by Bulacan’s political families.
Incumbent Gov. Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado won over three contenders in the 2010 elections and was unopposed in his reelection bid in 2013.
This year, he is facing candidates like Ermalyn Carmen, a 47-year-old vulcanizing shop assistant from Northville in Balagtas town. Carmen, the first to file her certificate of candidacy for governor in October last year, was initially rejected by Comelec for failing to follow its rules.
Ernesto Balite, a retired educator from this city and a frequent candidate, has again joined the race.
In 2007, he ran for governor but lost to Joselito Mendoza, brother of former Gov. Josefina de la Cruz, garnering less than 1,900 votes. Mendoza is the incumbent Bulacan congressman.
In 2013, Balite tried to run again for governor but was declared a nuisance candidate by the Comelec, leaving Alvarado unchallenged.
The long list of candidates was facilitated by the Comelec’s decision not to declare any nuisance candidate this year. Nuisance candidates are those judged by the Comelec to have no definite political plans or the capability to launch a provincewide campaign.
Those running for governor as independent candidates are Clemente de Guzman, Andrew Gonzales, Apolinario Libiran, Jonathan Mendoza and Eliceo Olorosa. Fernando Dizon of Partido Bagong Maharlika is also running for governor.
But none of these candidates has launched major campaigns on the run-up to the May 9 elections.
The campaign jingles, political posters and giveaways like T-shirts are being distributed by the groups of Alvarado of the Liberal Party, De la Cruz of the Nationalist People’s Coalition and San Miguel Mayor Roderick Tiongson of United Nationalist Alliance.
This will be the second face-off between Alvarado and De la Cruz, a former postmaster general, after the highly contested 2010 race, which Alvarado won with a margin of less than 50,000 votes.
According to Alvarado, he is seeking his third and final term to seal the development of the province.
De la Cruz, the first female governor of the province who served for three terms from 1998 to 2007, is making a political comeback to bring a “change in leadership.”
Tiongson is ending his last term as mayor of San Miguel. He is running on a tourism platform.
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